A study of the validity of the moral ethos questionnaire and its transferability to a Chinese context

Robin S. SNELL, Keith F. TAYLOR, Jess Wai-han CHU, Damon DRUMMOND

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

This paper begins by comparing and contrasting the Moral Climate Questionnaire (MCQ) and the Moral Ethos Questionnaire (MEQ), and identifies differences in their theoretical orientations. It argues that they seek to measure different things and should not be seen as competing instruments. The MEQ is based on Kohlbergian assumptions, regards the six individual stages of moral development as having equivalents within organisational moral atmosphere, and measures the relative strength of these organisational ‘stages’ or forces. In validating the MEQ, one problem is its ranks-based questionnaire format, making standard assessments of reliability and validity difficult. The researchers investigated the MEQ's cross-cultural transferability and comprehensibility, by assessing how accurately three groups of 60 undergraduate business students, two Hong Kong Chinese and one Australian, assigned MEQ items to their designated stages. The Australian group met the comprehensibility criterion of 50% stage assignments (hits), but the Chinese did not, with Chinese students using an English version of the MEQ achieving fewer accurate hits than those using an expertly translated Chinese version. The results indicated some lack of cross-cultural transferability and some language-related interpretation differences. Students tended to assign stages 2, 3 and 4 items with greater accuracy than stages 1, 5 and 6, and the paper gives explanations for the lower comprehensibility of the latter. The paper concludes with comments on teaching Kohlbergian concepts to Chinese students and using the MEQ to research Chinese organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361 - 381
JournalTeaching Business Ethics
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes

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questionnaire
student
Hong Kong
Group
climate
interpretation
lack
Teaching
language

Keywords

  • Kohlberg
  • moral atmosphere
  • sociomoral reasoning
  • culture

Cite this

SNELL, Robin S. ; TAYLOR, Keith F. ; CHU, Jess Wai-han ; DRUMMOND, Damon. / A study of the validity of the moral ethos questionnaire and its transferability to a Chinese context. In: Teaching Business Ethics. 1999 ; Vol. 3, No. 4. pp. 361 - 381.
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A study of the validity of the moral ethos questionnaire and its transferability to a Chinese context. / SNELL, Robin S.; TAYLOR, Keith F.; CHU, Jess Wai-han; DRUMMOND, Damon.

In: Teaching Business Ethics, Vol. 3, No. 4, 12.1999, p. 361 - 381.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

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